June 26, 2008 by Matt Musico
I have an internship in Shelton, Connecticut with Mattingly Baseball. This is a baseball bat company that manufacturers bats with a different grip that was patented by Don Mattingly himself. Today was a regular day at the office for me, until about 3:30 or so. All of the employees that hold positions of power were in meetings all day and Mr. Mattingly himself was there to be a part of them. So, I actually had the opportunity to go up to the room they were all in and give Donnie Baseball a “professional” nod of the head.
He impressed me in many different ways even though he didn’t say a word. I looked around at all of the other men at the meeting and saw mostly casual dress, but they sported polos and khaki pants. I look towards Mr. Mattingly, there he is with a t-shirt and jeans– granted this company was made off of his idea, the man can do whatever he wants. He truly seemed like a genuinely nice man that is just trying to enjoy a normal life after living the dream as a pro baseball player back in the 80′s and early 90′s.
To me, the best part of it all is to be able to make it to the top, get the call to the “Show” (as the Big Leagues are called), have a tremendous career, but still be able to walk into a gas station and buy some milk without everyone and their mother mobbing you for autographs. If I could write a story called, “My Dream Job,” that’s exactly how it would go. Granted, there are some parts of America where Mr. Mattingly will always be identified, like the Northeast, but he could walk into a public place in Iowa and probably not that many people would recognize him.
It’s amazing how you can see what a person is like solely by how they carry themselves. When i was standing just feet away from Donnie Baseball, I could see that he was just a regular guy who just so happened to win an AL MVP Award. A lot of former players with his credentials would walk around like they’re the best thing since sliced bread, yet he takes the high road. Seeing him for all of 5 minutes today (without even talking to him) made me realize how ballplayers should handle themselves. He is a very classy man and I am absolutely honored to say that I gave Don Mattingly, a fellow first baseman, a nod of the head.